Conference Marks 20th Anniversary Of The Dayton Peace Accords
Former President Bill Clinton was in Dayton today for a speech on the 20th anniversary of the Dayton Peace Accords.
That agreement ended a bloody war in what is now Bosnia-Herzegovina. From Ohio Public Radio station WYSO Lewis Wallace reports.
Setting up the successful negotiation was one of Clinton’s accomplishments early in his presidency. Though even he acknowledged what came out of those 21 days in Dayton is not perfect.
Clinton: "I remember how miserable Bosnian president Izetbegovic was when he had to initial the deal on the 21st day of the agreement. Remember?"
The Bosnian president felt it wasn’t a just agreement—but he said that day that it was more just than continuing the war. Current U.S. ambassador, Maureen Cormack says that tension—a lack of ethnic and political unity—is still present in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Cormack: "And so even agreeing on something like a national holiday for this day that ended the war that brought peace to all citizens, has been challenging."
Dayton was chosen as a quiet — or some said bleak, out-of-the-way place to broker peace. The anniversary conference here continues through Saturday.